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Coconut sugar is a natural and healthy sweetener made from 100% sweet organic coconut sap that drips from freshly-cut unopened coconut flower buds. It is one of the healthiest sweeteners with a low glycemic index (GI) which is good for people with diabetes. Healthy Sweets Coconut Sugar is 100% natural and certified organic. Nutritionally, coconut sugar has more advantage over other sugars such as having a low GI and more nutrients than most of the sweeteners. It is a healthy alternative to conventional sugar.
The coconut sap which is the only raw material of coconut sugar is harvested four times a day to produce high-quality coconut sugar. Healthy Sweets coconut sugar is all natural and chemical free. No preservative or anti-fermenting agent is used in all stages of its production. It also implements a strict monitoring standard in its production process to produce the cleanest and high-quality coconut sugar – light in color and low in moisture content. All our coconut sugar is produced in our GMP certified processing plant.
Healthy Sweets coconut sugar is a tasty sweetener for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and other drinks, but best if just added to hot water as a healthy drink. It is also best for baking healthy treats, a heavenly seasoning to your ordinary food, and a healthy substitute for confectioneries. It also produces coconut sugar powder (similar to confectioner’s sugar) to its wide array of products. It is a perfect ingredient for making chocolates, baking cakes, cookies, and other healthy treats as coconut sugar powder easily melts with other ingredients. Coconut sugar powder can also be a great ingredient for skincare and hair care products. Single serving coconut sugar is also available for your needs — packed in sachets and usually used in hotels, restaurants, and cafés (HoReCa).
According to studies coconut sugar is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Most of all it has a low glycemic index, only 35 which is good for diabetics. Because of its low glycemic index, it will normalize your blood sugar. Per laboratory analysis, Healthy Sweets' coconut sugar is 81.93% sucrose, .98% fructose, and .51% glucose.
Coconut sugar is rich in amino acids. Out of the 20 amino acids needed by our body 16 of these are present in coconut sap and the highest of which is Glutamic acid. Glutamine assists in maintaining the proper acid/alkaline balance of the body. It also decreases the craving for sweets and sugar, which is beneficial to people wishing to lose weight. Glutamine is also considered to be nature's "brain food" because it improves mental capacities.
Coconut sugar contains various vitamins, including the 12 vitamins of the essential vitamin B complex. Inositol, a nutrient in the vitamin B complex, is the highest of all vitamins found in the coconut sap. It plays a vital role in nerve transmission, the regulation of enzyme activities and it aids in the redistribution of fats within the body. Inositol is also known to create a calming effect, have been used for depression, panic attacks, and diabetes. It is known to reduce cholesterol and helps in preventing the hardening of arteries and getting rid of fat from the liver. It is also beneficial for Alzheimer's disease, autism, and schizophrenia.
Moreover, coconut sugar is the most sustainable sugar because the coconut trees which are the sources of sap can last for 25-50 years compared to other sources of sweeteners such as sugar cane that needs to be replanted after harvest. Coconut trees have been proven to be environment-friendly because a hectare of coconut farm can sequester 24.1 tons of carbon dioxide per year. (For more information on this, please google study on “Productive and Sustainable Coconut Farming Ecosystems as Potential Carbon “Sinks” in Climate Change Minimization” by Severino S. Magat, Ph.D.)
For more information, please google study on Nutritional and Health Benefits of Coconut Sap Sugar/Syrup by TP Trinidad.
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In 2006, our family acquired an agricultural land planted with coconuts and bananas. However, the production was low because the land had long been applied with chemical inputs that eroded its natural fertility. Both crops showed signs of nutrient deficiency. We then decided to convert the land into an organic farm. All the crops were applied with organic inputs that were produced out of the materials that were available on the farm. We planted nitrogen-fixing plants as regular sources of nitrogen for the crops. We also diversified the crops, apart from bananas and coconuts we planted fruit trees, vegetables, root crops, and herbs. We integrated livestock that became our steady source of organic inputs. In less than two years, we were able to increase production and the income twofold. We generated regular earnings from coconuts and bananas and we got a steady supply of essential foods from our livestock, vegetables, and fruits. The once barren land is now covered with lush vegetation.
The onset of the financial crisis in 2008 pulled down the price of the coconut. The price of the whole nut dropped from P8.00 to P3.00 per kilo. This situation compelled us to look for viable options to make coconut farming a doable venture. The production of coconut sugar was seen as the most viable alternative because of its health benefits and income potentials.
2. The Business
Healthy Sweets was established in 2009 as a family-owned social enterprise producing fair trade and certified organic coconut sugar. It was created as a response to the fluctuating price of copra and whole nuts and to respond to the challenge of making small farming a profitable venture. The social enterprise provided green jobs to small farmers through organic coconut farm production and coconut sugar processing. From this venture, our coconut tappers were able to increase their income two-fold and even three-fold. We also employed women in the processing of coconut sugar that enabled them to earn an income of their own. Coconut farmers in the neighboring farms also sell their coconut sap to Healthy Sweets. Income derived from sap production is two to three times higher than copra production. With this business venture, the social enterprise helps uplift the living condition of coconut farmers who are considered as among the poorest of the poor in the Philippines.
We started with manual processing of coconut sugar, it was too laborious for women, then we look for appropriate tools and equipment to address this problem. Now, our production process is semi-mechanized, it is a big boost in maintaining the premium quality of our products and in making our processing method women-friendly. In 2011 we started producing cocosugar based candies and teas.
3. Vision, Mission, and Goals
Healthy Sweets envisions a healthy and vibrant society where people live in harmony with nature and are nourished with organically produced coco-based products. Our mission is to produce healthy and organic coco-based food products for local and international market while contributing to the development of sustainable and ecologically-balanced communities in the Southeastern part of Mindanao. Our goals: a) Increased the number of coconut farmers employed as tappers and women employed as processors earning a monthly income above the mandated minimum wage. b) Increased the size of the coconut farms certified as organic in Southeastern Mindanao. c) Increased the production volume of Healthy Sweets and its share in the local and export market.
Healthy Sweets Mindanao Corporation is certified organic by EU, USDA, and JAS. Also a GMP certified company by the Food and Drug Administration.
5. Plan for Expansion
We started expanding our operation in Davao Oriental where coconut trees abound to boost our raw material supply requirements, at the same time help the farmers whose income from coconut farming is very low.